20 Under 40: Kristopher DeVogelaere gives through time, tea, autism and more
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As revenue manager for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., Kristopher DeVogelaere, 30, is well-accustomed to handling greenbacks. But he’s even more accustomed to giving back, whether with the resort, volunteer efforts for the community or through his organic, loose leaf tea company Grit Tea.
“He’s an amazing addition to the Steamboat community,” said the resort’s vice-president of finance Kelly Keefer, adding that “Devo” even helps seniors at Casey’s Pond cross the street near his home and helped get a crosswalk installed after a recent hit-and-run. “He’ll drop anything to give you a lift or lend a hand. Steamboat is a better place because of him.”
At the resort, DeVogelaere’s efforts extend far beyond the revenue realm. He participates on internal committees, volunteers for the Gondola Evacuation Team and pitches in during busy days on the mountain. He also helps with the United Way Day of Caring and is involved with Junior Achievement.
His work with the resort’s donations and contributions committee led to him interviewing for a board member position with the Yampa Valley Autism Program.
“They needed a treasurer and my information got passed along,” said DeVogelaere, also a graduate of 2019’s Leadership Steamboat program. “They’re (the local autism program) going through a rapid growth phase, and I’m hoping to help them gain some more financial sustainability.”
The group is happy to have his help.
“He wanted a position with an organization that could utilize his skill set,” said Executive Director Lisa Lorenz. “He has a strong desire to contribute locally.”
Name: Kristopher DeVogelaere
Profession: Revenue manager, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in accounting, University of Illinois; master’s in business and administration, University of Colorado Denver
As the owner of Grit Tea, which DeVogelaere launched after concocting a black tea/yerba mate blend while backpacking in the Southern Patagonian Icefield, he donates 5% of all sales to nonprofit organizations and sources all of his ingredients responsibly through fair trade.
Last year he traveled to Nepal and began working with a single-origin tea estate that handles all growing and processing. Through a local nonprofit, he donates funds for projects that help the community, from purchasing cows to building thrift stores.
His donations steep through to various nonprofits via different tea blends. His Mountain Mama mixture benefits nonprofits supporting women’s outdoor programs; Bust a Coconut benefits nonprofits protecting ocean life; his Dawn Patrol concoction aids nonprofits helping those with disabilities through outdoor recreation, such as local Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports; and a mint tea creation benefits the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.
Growing up in Chicago, DeVogelaere graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Illinois before earning his MBA from the University of Colorado Denver. He worked in the finance department for the Crested Butte ski area before moving to Leadville and working in accounting for Copper Mountain. He moved to Steamboat four years ago to take the revenue manager position with Ski Corp.
“It was the typical ‘take a winter off after school’ and there you are 10 years later,” said DeVogelaere, who enjoys skiing, mountain biking, climbing, backpacking and traveling. “But I love it here. The local nonprofits are doing some incredible things here, and it’s a great, tight-knit community.”
To reach Eugene Buchanan, call 970-871-4276 or email ebuchanan@SteamboatPilot.com.
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